Processing the process

We hate covering process. While we acknowledge the importance of process, the nature of what we do calls on us to spend more time on the decision than on the process that leads to the decision.

We like to refer to that as cutting to the chase.

But we agree with the immortal Bard that “What’s past is prologue.”

Nowhere is that more obvious in the effort to revise the vacation home ordinance that will take another step on April 10 when commissioners review it at a special meeting to be conducted at the Hard Rock Hotel in Stateline.

Last week, Planning Commissioner Kirk Walder produced a list of 14 changes he wanted to see made to the code. He got backing for some and not for others.

However, during public comment, VHR Vice Chairwoman Lauren Romain asked why he didn’t bring those up during the 60 hours of hearings conducted by the committee.

The same question could go to Commissioner Danny Tarkanian, who’s been pretty clear he believes that vacation home rentals should be clustered near Stateline and not allowed north of Cave Rock.

It all comes down to process.

What impact would having a planning or county commissioner attend a meeting and make suggestions for a change have on the ability of their colleagues to see what their advisors might have produced on their own?

On the other hand, doesn’t it improve the end product if everyone who wants input gets to make it while it’s in the process and therefore heading off thorny questions when it’s go-time.

A change to the norms and procedures manual says “Deference will be giving to existing processes.” It also points out that the commission chairman “works through the chairpersons to the advisory boards, committees and commissions appointed by the board.”

Generally, the county frowns on having a commissioners provide input to advisory panels before it’s presented to the rest of the board.

But it has happened before, and despite spending several hours working through that norms and procedures manual, we bet it’ll happen again.


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